William and Mary Tribe vs. Elon Phoenix – College Basketball, February 18, 2021

By Dean McHugh in College Basketball
| February 18, 2021 4:50 am PDT

Two tribes go to war tonight as William and Mary take on Elon in this battle of basement boys in the Colonial Conference. The two teams are situated second and third from the bottom of the table. However, they have both played the least amount of games in the tightly contested Conference, and therefore there is plenty of opportunities to move up the rankings.

The Tribe has dominated this fixture in recent years, having won six of the previous seven games between them. They have also won four of the last five games on the road against Elon, so they should have plenty of confidence heading into tonight’s game.

Tribe vs. Phoenix Odds

Tribe (+2) -110
Phoenix (-2) -110
Tribe To Win +120
Phoenix To Win -125
Over 136 Points -110
Under 136 Points -110

I am shocked to find that Elon is the favorite to win this match, given they trail the Tribe in the standings, and they have a poor record against them. The total points look very low here and certainly interests me.

Elon has only entered two matches as the betting favorite this season, and they won on both occasions.

Tribe Analysis

The Tribe is going through their most fruitful period of the season, having won four of their previous six games. Although their last two wins came against the bottom of the Conference, Towson, they have picked up a fine win against third-placed Drexel during this time. They trailed by five at halftime in that match, but they rallied in the second half to end up winning by five points. The one concern is that they haven’t played for the best part of three weeks now, so there could be some rust.

They have spent most of this season on the road, having played ten of their 13 games away from home. The Tribe hasn’t shied away from this, though, as they currently have the second-best away record in the Conference. They have picked up five of their six wins on their travels this season. This includes winning the last three in a row.

Here are the latest betting trends for William and Mary:

  • They have won six of their previous eight games against the spread.
  • Four of their last five matches have gone over the betting total.
  • The Tribe has only won one of their previous five games against the spread when facing the Phoenix.
  • However, they have won 11 of the last 14 games against tonight’s opponents.
  • They have a good record against the spread on the road recently, having won five of their last six games.
  • William and Mary have won their last five games played in February.

The Tribe has an uninspiring offense this season that has shot poorly this season, especially from the three-point range where they score at only 30%. As a result of this, they are only averaging 67 points per game.

They don’t use the ball well and often turn the ball over regularly each game night.

Their defense isn’t any better, and their high-court press hasn’t worked this season. Because they press so high, they aren’t usually set to make many rebounds, and they don’t. They have a very low steals count for a high-pressing team, which is a significant indication that they aren’t executing this style of defense well enough.

However, what you wouldn’t usually find from a high-pressing defense is the high number of blocks they are making per game. While this is a good thing, it also highlights the fact that their game plan is off.

Because they have struggled in both areas this season, they have a negative point let game difference of -6, which is the second-worst difference in the Conference.

Senior Luke Loewe has led the Tribe in scoring and assists this season, and he has enjoyed playing against the Phoenix in the past as he has scored above his career average in the ten games that he has played against them.

Connor Kochera is also making waves this season, and his performances earned him the freshman of the week award recently. If he can bring that fine form into tonight’s game, then the Tribe will stand every chance of coming away with the win.

William and Mary have a clean bill of health going into this matchup.

Phoenix Analysis

Elon snapped an eight-game losing streak last time out by defeating College of Charleston. The win we made even more impressive as they had lost to them by 18 points the previous night. This meant that they produced a 29-point swing in the space of 24 hours.

Despite their poor form, they still have a positive record of 3-2 at home this season. However, those two defeats did come in their last two home games. They came against NC Greensboro and James Madison, so they would not have been expected to win either match.

Here are the latest betting trends for Elon:

  • They have only won two of their last eight games against the spread.
  • Seven of their last eight games have gone under the betting total.
  • Their games against the Tribe have been slightly more entertaining as four of the previous six meetings have gone over the points total.
  • The Phoenix have certainly seen plenty of points at home as 16 of the previous 20 matches has gone over the betting total.
  • Elon is 2-4 against the spread when playing in February.
  • They have the same record in their previous six games played on a Thursday.

Elon has one of the worst attacks in the country, averaging only 62 points per game. I think it’s safe to say that their entertaining home games have certainly not been down to them! Although, to be fair, they are averaging six more points per game at home this season.

Because of their subpar offense, they have a negative point per game difference of -5.2. They haven’t rebounded well, especially in attack where they are averaging only six rebounds per game. This, combined with the worst field goal percentage in the Conference, means they have a battle on their hands every time they step onto the court.

They don’t pass the ball great either and have the second-lowest assists count in the Conference. This is a particular problem because they don’t make many steals per game.

Their biggest asset is their defense, which is bordering on the top 100 in the country. However, I can’t quite put my finger on why they are so good as they don’t have the greatest of stats by any means. They don’t particularly mark up well, and they don’t make many steals or blocks either. The only thing I can think of is that their aggressive approach is intimidating their opponents into making mistakes.

The Phoenix should have been renamed the Huntsman this season as two Hunters, McIntosh and Woods, have led them. Sophomore McIntosh leads the scoring, while Woods helps their defense.

Elon has one absentee tonight as Gillens-Butler is sidelined for the season after suffering an Achilles injury.

Tribe vs. Phoenix Betting Pick

Let’s not hold any punches; these are two poor teams this season that hasn’t performed. The Tribe comes into this game in better form, has a better record this season, and has won more often than not against Elon, so why on earth are they the underdogs here? I genuinely don’t know, but if the bookmakers want to be kind once in a while and offer an opportunity like this, I, for one, will certainly not turn it down.

Pick
  • Tribe To Win
    +120

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